Sean Spicer Says President Stands By Trump Tower Wiretapping Claim CSPAN March 16, 2017 7:52pm-8:17pm EDT
republican health care plan. next, white house budget director mick mulvaney answering reportest' questions on the president's proposed budget. the e.p.a. and state department would see the largest cuts, while the defense department, veterans afairs and homeland security would see the largest increases. this portion of the white house briefing is 25 minutes. >> thanks very much, good afternoon and happy day before st. patrick's day, also known as budget day. most of you heard me talk about the budget before, i'm not going to say too many things in opening before we get to your questions. we will remind you this is what we're calling the america first budget, we had an america first candidate, we now have an america first president and it shouldn't surprise anyone that we have an america first budget. you've seen the details as we
talked about last week, $54 billion of additional defense spend, we have more details today on where that money is going. we have increases at the v.a., increases at the department of justice, increases within the department of homeland security for things that include border security and immigration control. increases within the department of energy. to deal with nuclear triad. and then corresponding reductions, similar amounts, offsetting dollar for dollar, in other programs. the largest reduction if you've seen the budget already is a 31% reduction in the environmental protection agency. the next largest on a percentage basis is within the department of state and the other departments are reduced in lesser amounts. i think the smallest reduction we have is nasa which is less than 1%. there again as with many of the agencies you'll see certain line items within those budgets plused up. this is the message the president wanted to send to the public, to the press, to chill.
he wants more money for defense, more money for border for law nt, more money enforcement generally, more money for the vets, more money for school choice and then to offset that money with savings elsewhere so that all of that is den without an additional dollar added to the deficit. as i mentioned before this budget does not balance the budget. this budget simply reallocated and reprioritizes spending as any family or business would do. this budget does not, for those of you who were not here last week this budget disease not address the big picture items such as policy change, revenue flows, tax policy, mandatory spending. this is simply the top line spending budget, that's why we call it the budget blueprint and not the full budget. the full budget, which will contain the rest of those pieces and part, will be released in may. before i take questions, i'm going to do something i don't ordinaryly -- ordinarily do, i'm sure it's kind of new. i'm going to call on "the new
york times." they're in trouble. where is my "new york times" guy. flaganheimer. i'll give you the first question, but they printed this morning i'm the father of 17-year-old triplet girls. my 17-year-old daughter wishes that had happened, my two 17-year-old sons are not happy about that. 'll give you the first question. >> we're not very good at math at "the new york times." >> the math was right, the gender was wrong. >> candidate trump talk about the gnash debt. you mentioned in it your budget message this morning. is there a plan, the president talked about during last year's campaign, to eliminate the national debt in eight years? he said in the campaign it would
be easy to eliminate the entire debt in eight years. is that something he's committed to trying to do? >> it's a good question a fair question, i would suggest it's not the right time for the question. the budget blueprint doesn't deal with the debt. it doesn't even deal with the deficit. it's simply the first part of the appropriations process. we'll send this up to the hill now and the appropriations committees of the house and the senate,ing of the house controls the power of the purse, the -- congress controls the power of the purse and this will be the first step in that process. we'll start to addresshe issues of the longer term deficit, longer term debt in that larger budget. of course we'll have to deal at that time with things like mandatory spend, tax policy, revenue flows to the government. again, it's a fair question, i just don't think now is the time to ask it. >> the 28% that comes out of the state department. i know you're leaving a lot of discretion to the people in charge there and all of these agencies for having to implement these cuts. how much is intended to come out of the foreign aid budget? >> a lot of it.
as i said before, one of the reasons what you see such a dramatic reduction in the state department on a percentage business basis is not that the president thinks diplomacy is not important. in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. we've seen secretary tillerson has had a tremendous diplomatic success already within thone d.o.d. with iraq. the president believes in diplomacy and we believe this budget protects that core function of the state department. it just so happens that much of the foreign aid that the president talked about in his campaign, much of the money that goes to climate research, green energy, those types of things are actually in the state department budget. if those line items had been in the department of commerce, you would see the department of commerce having gone down by a similarly large percentage. so the answer to your question is that most of the cuts within the state department try to focus directly on foreign aid. >> the budget showed a .8% decrease for nasa. but you've also talked about the
administrationudesing private companies such as space-x for more of that does this show some -- is some of this going to be shifted to the private sector and does this show a commitment on the administration's part for science and nasa? >> if you go become to the president's speeches, interviews he gave, we tried to identify his priorities. one thing he told us is i'm still interested in america being involved in space exploration. so even though the overall top line number at nasa is reduced by a small fraction, i think it's .08% as you mentioned, individual line tie tell -- items that deal with specifically space exploration are plused up. part of the intent there is to promote exactly what you just talked about. yes, sir. >> your own experience in the house tells you a lot of these cuts haven't been voted for before. do you consider this budget an opening bid and do you expect a lot of pushback even from republicans on the specificity of these cuts? and secondly, to take your point
about the president's words on the campaign, those of us who traveled with him remember he didn't -- he said he didn't want to touch social security or medicare, the fact that that's not in this budget is that a signal that those programs remain untouched and as the committee for responsible federal budget said that ignores 0% of the spending over the next tech cade. >> the president is going to keep the promise he is made on the campaign trail. you'll see no preference to social security here, no reference to medicare here, no reference to medicaid here or any of the other mandatory programs some people call entitlement programs because that's not what this budget is. the discretionary parking lot of the budget, half of which is defense and the other half is everything else. just because it's not here doesn't mean we're dodging the issue. you would never see in any budget blue pribt that deals with top line numbers mention of social security or medicare or medicaid. to the other part of your
question, i know some of these will be unpopular. the president is in a unique position. i was a member of congress. i had my constituency. senators retcht an entire state. we're always dealing with special director mulvaney: the president is beholden to none of that. he drafted a budget for the entire nation because that is who he sees himself as representing. he did not ask special interests for input on this. he focuses on how the programs might impact a specific congressional district. we know that going into it through the message we're sending to the hill is we want more money for the things the president talked about, defense being the top one, national security, and we do not want to add to the budget deficit. if congress has another wayoppyk about it. in the classes. >> -- in the glasses. >> from al jazeera.
crisis.t humanitarian yet, you're cutting funding to the u.n., fighting to the foreign aid budget. are you worried some of the most vulnerable people on earth will suffer as a result? we arer mulvaney: absolutely reducing funding to the u.n. and various foreign aid programs, including those run by other agencies. that should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign create the president said specifically, hundreds of times, "i'm going to spend less time overseas and more money on people back home." that is exactly what we are doing with our budget. >> with your focus on dollar for for the fiscal year 2017 request, you did not insist on dollar for dollar offsets. why are you not concerned about adding to the deficit in fiscal 2017? >> the large part -- the question deals with a 2017
request, a $30 billion, i think wall,3.5 billion for the it is not entirely offset. one is time, the other is that some of that is overseas contingencies operations. i have a colored history with the overseas contingency operation but we went through an d made sure the money was focused on the areas we are involved overseas. iraq, syria, afghanistan. we have sent them $18 billion worth of proposed reductions for fiscal 2017, but not were all offset. president's call for illuminating funding for the corporation for public broadcasting and the national thewment for the arts -- appropriations bill funds them. will he veto the bills until the republican leadership extends
bills that defund those things? director mulvaney: we want to defund those. a completely defensible reason for doing that. i put myself in the shoes of that steelworker in ohio, the coal miner -- the coal mining family in west virginia. the mother two in detroit -- of two in detroit. folks forask the throse money. that is a hard sell. it is something we do not think we can defend anymore. vetoes, you and i both know it does not come out line item by line item. with congress or the appropriations bill. yes, sir? reporter: there are several places in the budget where you're talking about eliminating
funding for unauthorized programs. a markeraying down about unauthorized programs and you think spending discipline will be improved if congress authorized everything? director mulvaney: for those of you who are not familiar, we spend a lot of money in the federal government on programs that are not authorized at all. the member, spending -- to break is a three-step process. you have to budget for it first, authorize it, that appropriated. a lot of the programs we spend money on for years had been on authorized spending -- unauthorized spending. some of them were never the first place. they were appropriated without any authorization. the messages, that is not the right way to do it. you were the president talk specifically on the campaign trail about at least 5% reduction to the unauthorized program, and that is what generated this budget. eatingr: you talk about the promises the president made during the course of the
campaign. the housing and urban development budget calls for a 13% reduction of $6 billion. president trump said specifically to urban black voters, he said "what do you have to lose?" least $6out, at billion that go to programs that benefit those communities. what do you say to those citizens? director mulvaney: what we saw and i talked to dr. carson just today. we went through the analysis of the hud budget. a lot of their money spent on government housing and building it. infrastructure. what secretary carson and i talked about was figuring out a way to do that better. we be allies we are working on a large infrastructure program we we realized we are working on a large infrastructure program. we want to take the money for infrastructure in hud right now and move that into this larger program. , similarsee the same
line items in the department of transportation for the same reason. president is not changing his commitment to infrastructure. what we are saying it's for years and years, we have built infrastructure like this and it does not work very well. let me finish and come back to you. what we are doing is taking it out of the discretionary budget and we are going to move it into the larger infrastructure plan this summer. mayctor mulvaney: -- >> support a variety of different programs including in part, meals on wheels benefits a lot of americans. theorganization delivers meals to thousands of elderly citizens. those citizens wilma longer be able to be provided those meals should what do you say to those -- those citizens will no longer be able to be provided those meals. what do you say to those people? director mulvaney: wheels on meals is not part of the program. many states make the decision to use that money on wheels on meals. we spend $150 billion on those
programs since the 1970's. these have been identified as programs since the second bush administration as one's that were not showing any results. cannot do that anymore. we cannot spend money on programs just because they sound good. meals on wheels sounds great. that is a state decision to fund that portion and take the federal money and give for programs that don't work. we cannot defend that anymore. $20 trillion in debt. we are going to spend a lot of money, but not on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises we made to people. reporter: there is a program called the shine in pencil then you -- in pennsylvania that educationalrschool programs for individuals in those areas which just so happens to be the state that propelled president trump to the white house. i'm curious what you say to those americans in the community where they tell me that 800 individuals will no longer,
children who need it most, will no longer be provided the educational care they need. director mulvaney: i'm not familiar. i have to memorize all 4000 might items. they are
supposed to be educational programs, help kids who do not get fed at home get fed so they do better in school. guess what? there is no demonstrable evidence they are doing that. there is no demonstrable evidence they are doing better in school. when we took your money from you, the way we justified it was these programs are going to help kids do better in school and do better jobs, and we cannot prove that it's happening. isorter: the administration saying no optical programs out there are doing their job to helping educate these kids. director mulvaney: you are asking me a question i do not know the answer to. i don't believe we cut the funding for all those types of things. reporter: to follow up, you were talking about the steelworker in ohio and a call minor in pennsylvania and so on, but
those workers may have an elderly mother who depends on the meals on wheels program, who start.e kids in head the day before, you described this as a power budget, but is it a hardhearted budget? director mulvaney: it is one of the most compassionate things we can do. reporter: cutting programs to help the elderly? director mulvaney: you are only focusing on half the equation. you are focusing on recipients of the money. we are focusing on the recipient and the folks who give us the money in the first place. look, we are not going to ask you for your hard earned money anymore, single mom of two in detroit. give us your money. we are not going to do that anymore unless we can guarantee -- please, let me finish. unless we can guarantee that money is actually being used in a proper function. i think that is about as compassionate as you can get. reporter: i have a question on the border wall. you know, the budget, as i
$4.1 billion. 1.5 billion for this year and $2.6 billion for the following year. no question about whhe mexico will pay for it or reimburse the u.s. for it as the player presit pledged, so where is the money coming for the border wall? $1.5 for mulvaney: 1 2017. it gets us a start on the program and you see some of the wall being built this year and obviously we increase funding in 2018, but that will take longer than two years to build curiosity source of funds, that is up to the president and the treasury and the state department. i am -- we are the guys that on we are thee money -- that take the money to allocate. that money nowof
goes to sanctuary cities. is that part of the president's promised to withhold funding from sanctuary cities and are there other elements of the budget intended to carry out that punishment the president talked about? director mulvaney: i'm not familiar with that particular line item. let me get with the doj and homeland, because they deal with this topic. you will see an increase in homeland for an increase in detention facilities, a significant increase in detention facilities. wanted toent said he stop the catch and release program. he signed an executive order to do just that. we fund that. increase the amount of money for detention facilities for folks to come into the country illegally. i will give you a follow-up. reporter: i have a question about the cuts you're making to things like transportation and housing. you said those would be paid for later with other appropriations, so this would be balanced. i know you have been a fiscal
pop yourself. it's up with a bit of a shell game where you are saying now, this is a balanced budget, but you are not stopping to pay for other things because those will be paid for later, but where are you going to pay for those other things? director mulvaney: to clarify, it is not a balanced budget. there is $480 billion deficit according to the congressional budget office next yr. we did not add to that in order to spend money on the president's priorities. regarding moving projects out of the, say, the base budgets for into the of and the structure, infrastructure is what we recently started. it will probably not come until summer or early fall. than taxo do obamacare reforms and then infrastructure after the august recess in congress, so you're making an assumption that i am not willing to make. you are making an assumption that all the infrastructure will go to the deficit and i am not willing to make that assumption. yes, sir. one, robust funding
for security [indiscernible] will be anean there increase considering all the criticism that the president and alleged against president obama for supposedly cutting embassy security? director mulvaney: that is one of the line items we leave up to secretary tillerson. we talked about the state apartment budget and how he decides to allocate that. it may be that there are some embassies that do not need a lot more security, and some that do, so we give them the effects ability to do that. the gentleman in the backwater question. that. flexibility to do the gentleman in the back had a question. woulder: getting usaid not leave the u.s. supporting terrorism -- how does president trump feel about those?
hbeensking we do not have to spend on tse countries who are against the u.s.. thector mulvaney: president's want to spend less money overseas. to your question because this came up the other day, which is the hard power versus soft power, there is a very deliberate attempt to send a message to our allies and friends such as india and our adversaries, other countries, shall we say. this is a hard power budget. this administration tends to change course from a hard power budget to a soft power budget. that is a message our adversaries and allies alike should take. therter: what message is president trying to send by a lemonade in for science and bymate change -- sent eliminating science and climate change? director mulvaney: let us deal with them separately.
we are going to focus on the core function. there is reductions, for example, in the nih, national institute for health. why? because we think there has been .ission creep we think there is tremendous opportunity for savings. a couple facilities should be combined. this comes back to the president's business person view . if you took over this as a ceo and look at this on a spreadsheet and ask why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three? answer is focusing on efficncies and doing what we do better. fairly change, he is straightforward. we consider that to be a waste of your money to do that. that is a specific type to his campaign. -- tie to his campaign. reporter: you mentioned meals on
not beenhey have been doing their job correctly. what information are you basing that on? director mulvaney: from having been in the state government, and i have been on several times a day, but my and standing of meals on wheels is that that is a state determination. federal government does not fund that. it is the community development block grant and some states doose to take the money and the meals on wheels and other states and localities might choose to do something else. we look at the grants. is no appreciable benefits to show for that type of tax their temperature and that is why we have the reduction. >> during her weekly briefing, house democratic leader nancy pelosi